Postdoctoral Researcher in Food Packaging

University of Helsinki Department of Food and Nutrition


The department of Food and Nutrition is a collaborator in an EU funded project “Healthy Food Africa”, and the project PI is University lecturer Hanna Koivula. Food packaging is a multidisciplinary research topic, requiring knowledge in material and food sciences, where the results can improve the wellbeing of both the people and the planet. We are now looking to strengthen the food packaging research team and are therefore seeking for

Postdoctoral Researcher / Doctoral Student in Food Packaging

for a fixed-term 1 year contract (depending on the level of the position and starting date) to work in the “Healthy Food Africa” project. The starting date is 1.12.2020 but can be negotiated. The position is funded initially for one year with a possibility for extension depending on availability of additional research funding (applicants will be expected to apply for further funding together with the project PI). There will be a trial period of six months in the beginning.

The project focuses in increasing the efficiency of agri-food chains and improving food safety through the development of innovative post-harvest innovations, packaging, new technologies and the minimization of food waste. Sustainability, collaboration and communication across the food value chain are the core of the project.

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled researcher with preferably a PhD or MSc degree in food sciences, chemical engineering, physical chemistry, or other related fields. The postdoctoral researcher or doctoral student are expected to contribute to research on in Healthy Food Africa project, in analysis and creation of increased value and sustainability in food systems through improved processing and packaging. The appointed researcher will work in collaboration with the project colleagues at University of Helsinki and other members of the Healthy Food Africa project under supervision of D.Sc. (Tech), University lecturer Hanna Koivula.

Doctoral student: The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment, or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately.

For a postdoctoral researcher, the salary of the successful candidate will be based on level 5 - 6 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary will be ca. 3300 - 3800 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The salary for the doctoral candidate position is based on levels 2–4 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. Depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience, the salary is ca EUR 2200–3050 per month (starting salary EUR 2200-2400).

A successful candidate should be able to:

• Coordinate, evaluate and conduct research on food preservation, food-packaging interactions and technological solutions, and report research.
• Communicate, effectively project partners with multidisciplinary background.
• Contribute to proposal writing to apply further research funding.
• Contribute to master/doctoral student supervision and teaching of food science.
• Engage with scientific community, research partners and the wider public at all levels, internationally and domestically through scientific publications as well as for example through social media (blogs, etc.).

The candidate is expected to have:

Education, experience and technical skills
• A degree in an applicable field and experience in materials sciences/technologies (a doctoral degree for the postdoctoral researcher position or a master’s degree for the doctoral student position).
• Knowledge of physicochemical methods and practices used to characterize and evaluate food packaging functionality and safety is an advantage.
• Fluency in English and excellent writing and communication skills.

Personal attributes and competencies:

• Excellent analytical and research skills
• Innovative in research planning
• Has capability and willingness to study broadly around his/her expertise
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and is experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
• Has high motivation for academic research, takes initiative and is capable of working both independently as well as in team.
• Values continuous improvement based on constructive evaluation, self-reflection and learning.


Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents. Please compile all documents as a single pdf file.
For both positions:

1) A curriculum vitae, clearly indicating type and level of qualifications.
2) A list of publications (postdoctoral applicants should indicate three most important publications to be considered for the position).
3) A statement (max 1 page) explaining the applicant’s motivation to apply for the position and how his/her expertise would productively contribute to research on intergenerational effects in criminology.
4) Names and contact details of people possibly providing references.
Additionally, for the position of postdoctoral researcher:
5) A summary (max. 2 pages) of the applicant’s scholarly activities including: summary of previous original research, academic networks and collaboration, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities, success in obtaining research funding, and other relevant details.

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for the position. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki must submit their application via the SAP HR portal, The deadline for applications is 12 of October, 2020.

For more information, please contact Dr Hanna Koivula: hanna.koivula(at)

Due date

12.10.2020 23:59 EEST